817.1051/817: Telegram

The Minister in Nicaragua (Lane) to the Secretary of State

79. The President sent for me this morning and told me that Congress had drafted a bill which would give the Guardia Nacional a legal status. He said that he has asked the Commission from the Congress [Page 543] to meet me, Señor Armijo, the President of the Congress, Senator Sandoval and Deputy Palma (former President of the Congress).

They thereupon exhibited the draft which, as I remember it from the few minutes which I had to examine it, is substantially as follows:

The Commanding General of the Guardia, that is the President, shall:

In accordance with the provisions of article 209 of the constitution, issue instructions to the Jefe Director.
Define military areas and direct movements of troops (article 3, paragraph 6 and 14).
Nominate officers in the Guardia (article III, paragraph 13).
Issue orders regarding “extraordinary” movements of Army.
Control communications and expenses.
Control, with Gobernación, over police forces now under Guardia.
Receive daily from Jefe Director report [on] activities and regularly report regarding expenditures.
Decree is to go into effect on publication in Gaceta Oficial.

Explanatory telegram follows.